This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001

13Nov/11

SELECTED SHORTS: MIRANDA JULY PRESENTS IT CHOOSES YOU

Symphony Space, Peter Jay Sharp Theatre
2537 Broadway at 95th St.
Wednesday, November 16, $15-$27, 7:00
212-864-5400
www.symphonyspace.org
www.mirandajuly.com

In her second feature-length film, The Future, writer-director-star Miranda July extensively researched PennySaver ads to develop a major plot point — and even discovered Joe Putterlik, who played an important role in the indie flick. The author of the delightful short-story collection No one belongs here more than you., July has turned her PennySaver adventures into It Chooses You (McSweeney’s, November 15, 2011, $24), a book that details her adventures tracking down some of the people who advertise in the paper, accompanied by photographs by Brigitte Sire. “Tuesday was the day the PennySaver booklet was delivered,” July writes early on. “It came hidden among the coupons and other junk mail. I read it while I ate lunch, and then, because I was in no hurry to get back to not writing, I usually kept reading it straight through to the real estate ads in the back. I carefully considered each item — not as a buyer, but as a curious citizen of Los Angeles. Each listing was like a very brief newspaper article. News flash: someone in LA is selling a jacket. The jacket is leather. It is also large and black. The person thinks it is worth ten dollars. But the person is not very confident about that price, and is willing to consider other, lower prices. I wanted to know more things about what this leather-jacket person thought, how they were getting through the days, what they hoped, what they feared — but none of that information was listed. What was listed was the person’s phone number.” The multimedia performance artist, whose interactive “Eleven Heavy Things” filled Union Square Park back in the summer of 2010, will be at Symphony Space on November 16 for a special presentation of the “Selected Shorts” series, performing selections from It Chooses You with Olga Merediz, Adrian Martinez, and Tom Bloom. July is an endearing, engaging figure, so it should make for a memorable event. The evening will begin with Betty Gilpin reading Hannah Pittard’s “Orion’s Belt.” (July will also be reading from and signing copies of It Chooses You at BookCourt in Brooklyn on November 15 at 7:00.)

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